Lumpfish / Lumpsucker (Cyclopterus lumpus)


The lumpfish is mainly caught in late winter when they come to shallower waters to spawn. Males arrive first and make a nest in kelp beds then the female comes into spawn before heading back out into the open ocean leaving the male to guard the nest until the eggs hatch which usually takes about two months.  Males are caught for local consumption for their meat, which is traditionally boiled in water with vinegar and served with potatoes. The females are mainly sort after for their roe (eggs), which is exported as luxury caviar mainly to Sweden, Germany and Denmark. The lumpfish is found all around Iceland but is most common in colder waters of the north and East. 

Average length from catches: 35-55 cm females, 28-40 males
Age reaching sexual maturity: 2-3 years
Average life span: ~ 7-8 years, possibly up to 15 years
Spawning Season: Later winter or early spring (Feb-May)
Habitat: Benthopelagic
Diet: Crustaceans, mollusks, jellyfish
IUCN world status: Not evaluated
Threats: Climate change, over fishing, aquarium trade
Icelandic Name: Grásleppa, Stenbider Kvabso, Rognkall Hængur/ Rognkjeks, Kvabbso, Rasvakala, Seehase, Snotolf, Grosse poule de mer, Cicloptero, Ciclottero, Tasza